26 July – 13 August, 2013 – Our what we think well-deserved vacation on Koh Samui began in hospital and ended in hospital. As Johan had developed this skin rash all over his upper body it was high time to see a doctor. The Bangkok Samui hospital, the one everybody would recommend, was on our way to our hotel on the other side of the island so we stopped by and within 30 minutes Johan could see a doctor. As the dermatologist was on vacation he was helped by the internist and got a few pills against allergies as well as a stinking liquid to be put on his rash as the doctor thought it was a sun allergy, as we suspected as well. The dermatologist where Johan had a second appointment a week later confirmed this diagnosis.
That afternoon we met with Sonia and her girlfriend and had a lovely time chatting with them all afternoon and most of the following morning. The next morning we bid them farewell and relaxed by the pool and on the beach. I decided to detox and fast for six days, as everybody was doing it here and I felt a bit I needed to clean my body from all the junk food we ate the last months. The detox package came with four yoga sessions, four Thai massages, meditation and four times steam bath. I mostly enjoyed the massages to be honest but yoga was nice as well. I am just so stiff that a lot of exercises are really hard for me. Johan usually calls me ‘stieve hark’ if he sees me mounting my bike or trying to climb on something, our Dutch followers will understand! The fasting was very hard for me. On day one and six I was allowed to eat three meals of which one was a salad, one a fruit platter and one I could choose. For the remaining four days I only got a fruit platter for lunch, for the rest I was drinking many different and super healthy smoothies and shakes. I was hungry throughout. From eating enormous amounts of food to hardly anything was too much of a change for my stomach, but I thought it was an interesting experience to watch others eating the most delicious dishes while remaining strong and keeping to my hard diet. Johan at the same time went on a quite different eating program, as he was as hungry as I all day he ate most of the times two main meals followed by yummy desserts.
Even these six days came to an end but unfortunately I wasn’t feeling well. I somehow lost my appetite and felt really tired. We first blamed it on the detoxing as that was the only logic reason.
In the meantime another friend arrived with her family on Koh Samui and we visited her in her hotel and spent another really nice afternoon chatting away. They also brought a lot of desperately needed spare parts for our bikes which our sponsor Idworx kindly provided. We cycled there as it wasn’t too far away – only 15km – but almost instantly regretted it as the road was so extremely hilly, that we had to stop after the first tough climb as I almost had to throw up! And this without any luggage on the bikes. We cycled that part of the road when we arrived on the island as well and I now know why I had to push my bike up this nasty hill. We returned in the evening before dark, the road felt a little easier this direction, but it was still hard. Right after dinner I suddenly developed a high fever and I was trembling like hell and somehow went from being ice-cold to super-hot! Damn the detoxing, I thought to myself. I would stay most of the next day in bed and the fever went away, thankfully, but only until a few days later. Again, we met with Laetitia and her family, this time at our hotel, and spent another lovely afternoon with them when the fever returned. This time even higher. I once more would spend the following day in bed, the fever would go down again and I thought by now I am over it. But no, another night with almost 40 degrees fever and we decided I needed to see a doctor. And the diagnosis was as expected: Dengue fever. I spent three full days in hospital and on IV and every day the doctor would tell me what would happen next to my body and all happened exactly the way: first the fever wouldn’t return anymore, then the pain would slowly go away and then, the second night in hospital, the itching would start. My appetite would only return three days after I left hospital, also as predicted. The good news about Dengue fever is that I am now immune for the next six months and the fever does not damage the liver or any other organs as is the case with Malaria.
While recovering I also resumed my daily walks along the beach, swimming in the sea and the pool together with Johan. Johan worked hard on the bikes, cleaned them, replaced our old chains and fixed old tires so Rudi and Smokey look again as new. We didn’t really do much else as the island is far too busy and too touristic for us and we enjoyed the hotel and its fantastic location by the sea and the good food.
After almost three weeks on the island it is time for us to move on once more. We got itchy feet and legs by now, this time from looking forward to continuing our journey towards Malaysia. We also have to move on as we have a deadline to meet, our visas expire on August 20 and the Thai authorities are not amused by any kind of visa violation.
So keep your fingers crossed that we’ll be able to enter Malaysia on our bikes before 20 August and don’t face the same hassle on the roads as we did when we wanted to reach Koh Samui.